Lulu Raschke, 4, left, watches her mother Natalie Raschke look for items she wants to retrieve while visiting their confiscated RV in a tow yard in Chula Vista in early April. The family decided against parking in the city’s Mission Valley safe lot despite the prospect of more tickets from police in part because of its restricted hours./ Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

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The City Council is set to vote Monday on a contract with nonprofit Jewish Family Service to continue its safe parking programs and provide around-the-clock access at its Mission Valley lot.

The city now has two safe lots in Kearny Mesa and one in Mission Valley that can accommodate RVs. 

Mayor Todd Gloria announced Friday that he’s proposing a $1.4 million contract that includes $440,000 to allow the Mission Valley lot to remain open 24 hours a day. Now people who park in the JFS lots must leave by 7 a.m. each day.

“Creating 24-hour access to safe parking will help folks whose work and family schedules aren’t well-aligned with the current hours of operation, enabling them to not only park in a safe place but also access supportive services and get on a path to housing,” Gloria wrote in a release.

Natalie Raschke talks with her daughter Lulu Raschke, 4, as she looks for personal items she wants to take with them while visiting their confiscated RV in a tow yard in Chula Vista in early April. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

The announcement follows a Voice of San Diego story documenting the challenges faced by a family of six who have recently lived in a van. The Raschke family stayed in an RV until it was impounded by the city in February. They told Voice they decided against parking in the city’s Mission Valley safe lot despite the prospect of more tickets from police in part because of its restricted hours.

The Raschkes aren’t the only homeless San Diegans who have voiced that predicament.

A UC San Diego evaluation of the safe parking program released in January recommended that the city provide 24-hour access in at least one lot.

“Listening session feedback from (safe parking program) clients overwhelmingly indicated support for increased access to the lots during the day,” UCSD researchers wrote. “Allowing clients to stay until 8 or 9 a.m. in the morning would reduce stress significantly for some, as they would have time to gather their thoughts, plan their day, and pack up their things in a calmer fashion.”

Researchers also concluded opening the lots earlier would give participants more time to connect with case managers and lessen “the stress, mental effort and ‘gas cost’ of having to find a place to stay for the day, for those who are not employed.”

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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2 Comments

  1. So Todd Gloria wants to use taxpayer funds to establish a 24/7 RV slum. Brilliant. How did that turn out at De Anza Cove?

    1. This SPP is much better then having to park on the side of the road.
      We are not wanting to make a lifestyle out of this.. it’s not like parking at a public park next to the bay, it’s right next to freeways, away from houses, schools and business’s..This program helps people/families land on their feet, and not give up?.

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